Photo Galleries

A picture’s worth a thousand words.

If you’re interested in bringing one of these programs to your campus or event, please contact us!

Wild Art at Academia Avance Middle School, Highland Park, CA

By combining visual arts skills with sustainability and wildlife education, youth create a platform to creatively express themselves, connect to nature in LA and to take ownership of and pride in their community. We believe this introduction to wildlife and conservation issues is the first step in leading young people to engagement in and possibly beyond Los Angeles. RuckusRoots and artist mentor Nino Alicea worked with nearly 200 youth to create wildlife-inspired paintings on metal. These paintings will soon become an interactive public sculpture in Los Angeles.

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TRASHformation at Academia Avance Middle School, Highland Park, CA

RuckusRoots and artist mentor Rebekah Waites teamed up with 127 middle school students from Academia Avance in Highland Park, CA to create an interactive sculpture made from recycled materials. This TRASHformation program was the only arts education the students received all semester. At the beginning of the program, we asked participants to come up with ideas for an art piece that would positively affect their community. The winning idea, by 11-year-old Brisa Cabrera Diaz, is entitled “Your Hug,” and is an 11-foot tall sculpture of a teddy bear that absorbs feelings. As Diaz wrote in her proposal, “My art piece is of emotion. When you’re sad you hug it and when you’re mad you can talk to it about your madness. Express your feelings to it.” When participants speak (or laugh or sing) into a nearby microphone, the bear lights up in response. Your Hug showed at the Northeast LA Art Walk in May 2014.

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Chimes for Change at Soundwalk 2013

 At Soundwalk 2013, we exhibited 30 wind chimes made by participants of our pilot Chimes for Change program. Collaborating with Loyola High School sound art teacher Steven Speciale and visual artist James Peterson, students built wind chimes out of recycled materials, expressing a sustainability issue through their piece. Then they learned how to compose electronic music using the mobile application Yellofier. Finally, students created their own song in the Yellofier app, using only sounds derived from their wind chime. The results were displayed at Soundwalk 2013, one of the country’s biggest sound art exhibits, in Long Beach, California. Attendees viewed the collection of chimes and could access each artists’ electronic song and artists statement by scanning a nearby QR code with their smart phone.  

D3 Lab: ‘Nighthawk’ TRASHformation Presentation

 For the unveiling of our TRASHformation sculpture at Nightingale Middle School, our participants helped dismantle the sculpture and carry it across campus to its new home in the lunch area. This location makes a perfect nesting ground for our bird since it is made mainly of lunch-related materials (like food trays and chip bags), it serves as an eye-catching reminder for the student body to recycle those items after they eat. TRASHformation participants were awarded RuckusRoots T-shirts, and presented to the rest of the student body and administration about how and why we built the sculpture once it was safely in place. Photos Courtesy of Monching Flores 

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TRASHformation at Legacy LA

RuckusRoots partnered with Legacy LA to create a TRASHformation sculpture with fourteen at-risk youth from the project housing community of Ramona Gardens in east LA. Legacy LA’s mission is to make positive interventions in the lives of young people by offering alternatives to gangs and violence. This TRASHformation is a collaborative effort that reflects issues surrounding police-installed surveillance cameras in Ramona Gardens. Our piece explores themes of perspective: what the cameras see and what they don’t, the true Ramona Gardens (both positive and negative aspects) as seen through the eyes of our participants.

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TRASHformation at Nightingale Middle School in the D3 Lab

RuckusRoots has joined forces with the D3 Lab at Nightingale Middle School to offer a TRASHformation program to  underserved middle school students in the Cypress Park community of east Los Angeles. Learn more about the process by checking out our blog

SF Green Festival After Party with the Recycle Tree

Our friends at the Sustainable Living Roadshow invited us to bring our ReCycle Tree up to SF for the Green Fest after party on November 11, 2012. SLR threw the event in their new venue, located in the Mission district. We met all kinds of new friends, and had a blast showing people how to create new leaves for our tree using recycled aluminum cans. Read all about our experience here

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The ReCycle Booth at Interbike

RuckusRoots was asked to create a booth made completely from recycled materials for the launch of The ReCycle at Interbike Expo in Las Vegas, Sept 19-21, 2012. The ReCylce is the world’s first bike with frame and fork made from 100% recycled aluminum content. Materials used include reclaimed plywood, hundreds of recycled aluminum cans, recycled paint, found furniture, scrap metal, recycled refrigerator doors, washing machine tubs and more. Read about the build process on the RuckusRoots blog.

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TRASHion Show

A fundraiser and fashion show featuring clothing made from creatively recycled materials. Learn more

Photos by Dan Krauss

TRASHformation at UWO

An interactive, improvisational art experience that turns campus-generated waste into a sustainably and collaboratively built art piece at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.  Learn more.

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Photos by Jaslyn Gilbert & Jon Patty

Bike Bash at UWO

Bike Bash is an interactive art and biking event that rethinks, rebuilds and re-imagines how you get from point A to point B. At the Univeristy of Wisconsin over Earth Week 2011, RuckusRoots turned donated bikes into functional, mobile art pieces and sustainability tools, including a DJ bike that plays music from soler-powered speakers, a pedal powered charging station for cell phones and laptops and more! Learn more

Photos by Eric Fell

AASHE 2012

We brought a mini TRASHformation to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2012 Conference: our ReCycle Tree with leaves made from recycled aluminum cans. Participants helped helping us by personalizing the leaves with their names or a drawing, and our tree grew into a true AASHE-based TRASHformation over the course of three days!  Learn more.

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Caravan Project

At Joshua Tree Music Festival (May 2011) RuckusRoots collaborated with Art Customs and local artists to create The Caravan Project, a live painting installation that explored and questioned the themes of travel, journey, and our pioneering, nomadic American roots. The installation was made out of recycled materials, provided stunning visual impact, thoughtful social commentary and much needed SHADE at this 3-day art and music event

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Photos by Farah Sosa & Jon Patty

Freedom of Speech Wall

Evoking our common kitchens, the “Freedom of Speech Wall” is a giant magnetic poetry wall made out of recycled refrigerator doors. Participants can easily arrange words to express their thoughts, or collaborate by building on an existing poem. The message on the wall constantly changes throughout each event, shifting to reflect the various feelings and beliefs of the participants. The Freedom of Speech Wall has appeared at Lucent L’Amour, Joshua Tree Music Festival and private events. 

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Photos by Jon Patty & Christine Spehar